Red Tape Exhaustion

I’m in the process of switching to Alberta residency and I’m just about done with this whole full-timing in Canada thing. It’s probably easier to request, and get, refugee status in the States than it is to move from one province to another.

I’m no longer comfortable spilling all the details of how I handle the legal red tape in this country. I am tired of all the lies and half-truths I have to tell to be able to drive and have some semblance of health coverage, and I grow increasingly concerned by the abundance of information that I voluntarily give up that could be used against me.

There was a time not so many months ago that I thought I was strong enough to be the full-timing martyr in this country; that I could live openly, proclaim from the rooftops that I screw the rules and do things my own way, consequences be damned, but that isn’t me anymore. The stress is gnawing at me and my resentment of my government grows exponentially with every hoop I have to jump through. I am exhausted. I bet if I were to grow out my hair it’d be grey!

I won’t let the government win. I’m not giving up on this lifestyle that I love so much, but I am going to go into hiding, so to speak, for a while, and say a lot less on the blog for the time being about the infrastructure aspects of my life.


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  • I had no idea that it was hard to move from one Province to another. We once moved from Wisconsin to Texas and had to pay a bit of capital gains on the sale of the Wisconsin house, and it is more expensive to buy health insurance if you plan on being a full timer, but that’s not the government. More freedom in the USA? Never would have thought about it.

  • I suppose that is a wise decision Rae. Best to keep such things to yourself. Hope you continue to blog about your life in general though. You have a unique approach and I for one am glad you share.

  • *sigh*
    I get no joy in reading this.
    Although completely understandable, this is unfortunate, while also possibly explaining why many “homeless” people choose to stay under the radar. Not sure what other term to use, and I’m not happy with that one. The perception is however, that as far the gubbermint is concerned, living in an RV is considered “homeless”.

    Is this the sense that you get? Is this why you’ve become (slightly) discouraged?
    If you eventually get it all sorted out, I hope you’ll choose to spill the beans some day.

    “You just have to have an address!”
    I call “Bullshit”.

    Stupid Red Tape. Stupid Government.

  • Merikay, moving to another province isn’t much different from moving to another country! There’s tons of legal requirements.

    Bob, the big issue is the idea of ‘provincial residency’. I have to prove that I am a ‘resident’ of the province to which I am applying for health care and a driver’s license. With my lifestyle, every single one of them could turn me down. Which leaves me applying for refugee status in the States?!

  • I’m sorry your country is giving you such hassles. We’d welcome you here with open arms if it was up to the RV community. I know that doesn’t help you much but it’s the best I can do today.

  • Rae,

    It is not quite that bad here in the States but ObamaCare will probably make it that way. There is also a similar problem with drivers licenses in some states.
    ‘Residency’ is also an issue for on-line stock trading. I had a brokerage account with on-line trading capability and used a UPS Store for a long time. Changed to another UPS Store and they discovered that fact and froze my account; had to move to a different broker. The interesting thing, an employee where my account was frozen told me point blank that I could use a relatives address and LIE that I lived there and everything would be fine.

    Good Luck. There is now escape from Government interference in your life, there are just some that are better than others.

  • But, Ed, full-timing is an established lifestyle in the U.S. Sure there are organizations that can set its own rules, but from a governmental standpoint, being a full-timer is okay; you don’t have to ‘cheat.’

    I think this is why I had a much easier time getting into the States than I did coming back into Canada this past spring–the Americans understood my lifestyle while the Canadian officials were suspicious.

  • I’m very sorry to hear about all these hassles, Rae. It surprises me that RVing is not seen as an “established lifestyle” in Canada, because I see so many Canadian snowbirds in the southwestern US every winter. But maybe it’s the difference between snowbirding and full-time RVing that confuses Canadian officialdom.

    A word to Ed, who ran into problems when switching from one UPS Store to another: it sounds as if you don’t have a legal domicile and mailing address that match up. The Escapees RV Club solved that problem for me very neatly: I was able to change my domicile to their “Rainbow’s End” park in Livingston, Texas, working entirely by mail. A brief trip into Texas to swap my old driver’s license for a Texas one, and I was done.

    My Escapees address is a fully legal residence for all purposes–banks, brokerages, IRS, absentee ballots, you name it. I could even go live there if I wanted to. And the Escapees operate the largest mail forwarding facility in the US. They’ve been handing all my mail (and UPS, FedEx, etc., deliveries) for six years now with nary a slip-up.

    Bottom line: a UPS Store is not a legal domicile. You need something better. I recommend Escapees. There are similar services in South Dakota and Florida, but Escapees is the largest and best organized.

  • Andy, Americans are so fortunate to have that possibly to use a service like Escapees.

    What boggles me is that the provincial governments know about full-timing and try to squash it instead of turning it into a cash cow! If I was a premiere I’d offer a haven to full-timers in exchange for new tax revenue, such as charging a property tax on an RV that’s a principal residence.

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